The Grito in Chiapas
The Governor of Chiapas gives the Grito at an alternative site; the EZLN goes ahead of the mayor and gives it in Palenque
EZLN Sympathizers arrived in Palenque’s principal plaza. Photo: Isaín Mandujano
By: Isaín Mandujano
TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Chiapas. (apro)
While Governor Manuel Velasco Coello had to give the Cry of Independence (Grito de Independencia) in Tapachula as an alternate site, since the plaza of the state capital is occupied by striking teachers, in Palenque hundreds of men and women sympathizers of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) took over the plaza and gave the Grito, storming the balcony of the municipal presidency where the mayor of Palenque would [normally] be to give it.
In Tapachula, hundreds of citizens who sought to interrupt the Cry of Independence, were repressed with clubs and tear gas, prior to the event that Governor Manuel Velasco Coello headed.
Municipal and state police held back residents who since the morning through the social networks had started to call for a boycott of the Cry of Independence. So, in the midst of a strong security circle, the governor came out on the balcony waving the flag and intoning the names of each one of the country’s heroes at the same time that the bell was ringing.
Meanwhile in Palenque, men and women came from different communities, many of them with balaclavas. After the march, people who were identified as teachers, campesinos, parents and adherents to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration arrived in the central plaza.
There, the contingent gave honours to the flag and the masked escort marched. Later, they put up a ladder and climbed up to the balcony where everything was ready for the mayor to come out to give the Cry of Independence. But the masked ones advanced and intoned slogans against “the bad government,” read the names of the heroes of Independence and made a pronouncement against the structural reforms, among them the education reform.
In Tuxtla the teachers celebrated a popular evening festival in the central plaza where the striking teachers continue their encampment. They gave the “Anti-grito” there by intoning slogans against the government of Enrique Peña Nieto and rendered honours to the flag.
In Tila, ejido authorities celebrated the expulsion of the municipal authorities and they celebrated the Cry of Independence (Grito de Independencia).
“We had to recognize that it isn’t easy to carry out our ejido autonomy, but conscious of that we must continue although stumbling blocks may exist, but always with our head held high in our conscience of struggle; since during the stay of the municipal council in our ejido, besides the dispossession and paramilitary violence, the municipal council illegally increased expenditures for alcoholic beverages by authorizing licenses to liquor stores, bars and cantinas; as well as the increase of prostitution, drug addiction, local drug dealing and burglary. Bars and cantinas can be observed a few metres from the schools and one has to be working little by little to avoid our people continuing to be poisoned and now we are doing different tests as the general assembly agreed,” says the letter read by the ejido owners.
Originally Published in Spanish by Proceso.com
Friday, September 16, 2016
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee
Posted with minor edits by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity